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View Poll Results: When did you start to really anticipate retirement?
A few weeks away 3 3.70%
A few months away 9 11.11%
About six months away 6 7.41%
About a year away 11 13.58%
Other 52 64.20%
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When did the anticipation of retirement really kick in?
Old 05-11-2013, 09:12 PM   #1
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When did the anticipation of retirement really kick in?

When did you start to really anticipate retirement -- in the sense of "pleasurable expectation," really relishing the idea, being able to taste it?


I'm asking because I saw a TED presentation that got me thinking about the joy of anticipation. As a kid, I loved the countdown to Christmas. As an adult, I love anticipating vacations; the anticipation is almost better than the vacation itself, sometimes.


I'm 16 months out from retirement, though, and it seems a little more like this







than this






So I'm wondering, when did the real joy of anticipating retirement kick in for you? When did you really start to feel it?


.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:54 PM   #2
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I was 18 months out. I was at a point where I could not take work anymore. I happened to be on vacation, hiking in Grand Canyon actually, and I had time to really think about my situation. I ran the numbers in my head and knew I was going to be good financially. From that point on there was no turning back for me.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:55 PM   #3
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I voted "other". I think probably the real joy of anticipating retirement kicked in about 9 years before ER. The closer I got, the more exciting it was.

Have you tried updating the number of days you have left? That was pretty exciting for me. I put that number on a corner of the whiteboard in my office, and every morning I erased it and put up the new number. It was about 2650 or so when I started. So, that would be over 7 years before I retired.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:04 PM   #4
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I started planning about 5 years prior. Then the economy tanked and I thought different. But about a year before I left it looked better and it was OK to use a countdown app.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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About 7 years prior to ER. I had received an inheritance and realized that this really was possible. From then on I was secretly planning it. I didn't get into the daily calendar thing but I did occasionally count the months or the number of times I would have to repeat a frustrating task.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:19 PM   #6
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I was a lot like W2R. I calculated how many w*rkdays I had left and wrote that in my calendar for the rest of the year...subtracting 5 on every Monday. I don't remember the highest number but it was probably about 8 years from my planned retirement day.

It sure helped get me thru some dark days at w*rk.

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Old 05-11-2013, 10:23 PM   #7
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It gets a little crazy when you hit single digits
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:31 AM   #8
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Well, with nearly everyone answering "other" (more than a year), either I need to work on my anticipation skills or else I didn't really communicate my question effectively.

I didn't intend to ask, when is the first time you began to look forward to retirement. I meant rather, when did the anticipation level really take off? When did it start to feel so close you could taste it?

I made the poll choices under a year because I was confident that the level of anticipation I was talking about didn't happen 5 or 10 years out, but only as you got within striking distance, so to speak, or close enough to start drooling or chomping at the bit. When retirement is 5 to 10 years away, it is too distant to trigger that type of anticipation -- or at least, so I assumed. Maybe a lot of you really were drooling over retirement and chomping at the bit for years in advance.

At 16 months away, I'm still too far out to really "taste" it, in the sense I mean here. I have a small whiteboard on which I track the number of weeks left. 68. Not too bad, but still too far away to get really excited. I do look forward to retirement and think about it nearly every day, but for this poll, I was wondering about a higher pitch of anticipation. I'm just guessing, but I think it'll be when it gets under about 6 months, for me.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:55 AM   #9
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Sorry to disappoint, but no rising crescendo or eager anticipation here either. My transition was slow, steady and very evenly paced, and began more that a year out. A few butterflies toward the end, perhaps, but they were short lived. The ravages of menial tasks of an ordinary daily life overwhelmed my fears in a most satisfying way long before my last day at work.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:02 AM   #10
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I am just under 6 and a half months and some days it seems very exciting and others it seems still too far away. My situation is complicated by the fact that I cannot tell people for another 3 months, so lately I have tried to get excited about that date. That still seems too far away. When I walk past a sign with my name on the door, I do smile at the image of it being scratched off. I suspect when I can start fielding the inevitable, "but what will you do?" and "how old are you?" and "why?" and so forth, that I will really enjoy the anticipation. But work is still too much of a presence in my life, too much stress and time left to really savor being done with it, yet.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:13 AM   #11
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Sorry to disappoint, but no rising crescendo or eager anticipation here either. My transition was slow, steady and very evenly paced, and began more that a year out.
That's cool. Maybe I should take a lesson from the responses and just enjoy the anticipation at whatever level it sits, knowing that it'll gradually increase as I get closer.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:45 AM   #12
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I'm about 20 months away and the anticipation is really started to kick in for me. I think about it daily. I'm down to counting in months like you do when a baby is born until it gets over 2 years old. I start sentences with "when I retire....". Things at work bother me less because I know it won't matter much longer. Etc.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:52 AM   #13
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We have about 5-7 years to go and I THINK about retirement every single day (and have for the last year or so). But we're still in the planning stages, which has proven to be a bit of a headache. I have a feeling the actual event will be pretty anti-climactic, so I'm planning something memorable (i.e. a cruise) to make sure we actually celebrate this milestone.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:03 AM   #14
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As others above have already said, my anticipation started about 5 years out. It was a long well planned event.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:00 AM   #15
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Mine started when I entered the last year of my employment contract. It really kicked up six months out when my replacement was named and I sort of became "chairman emeritus" of my division.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ER Eddie View Post
Well, with nearly everyone answering "other" (more than a year), either I need to work on my anticipation skills or else I didn't really communicate my question effectively.

I didn't intend to ask, when is the first time you began to look forward to retirement. I meant rather, when did the anticipation level really take off? When did it start to feel so close you could taste it?

I made the poll choices under a year because I was confident that the level of anticipation I was talking about didn't happen 5 or 10 years out, but only as you got within striking distance, so to speak, or close enough to start drooling or chomping at the bit. When retirement is 5 to 10 years away, it is too distant to trigger that type of anticipation -- or at least, so I assumed. Maybe a lot of you really were drooling over retirement and chomping at the bit for years in advance.

At 16 months away, I'm still too far out to really "taste" it, in the sense I mean here. I have a small whiteboard on which I track the number of weeks left. 68. Not too bad, but still too far away to get really excited. I do look forward to retirement and think about it nearly every day, but for this poll, I was wondering about a higher pitch of anticipation. I'm just guessing, but I think it'll be when it gets under about 6 months, for me.
Oh, I could definitely 'taste' it ~7 years out...

When I finally figured out that there was a light at the end of the tunnel....it was ~7 years of anticipation which I could taste...which made it all the more delicious. (Especially because it was my own little secret.)

The last month or two was almost sort of anti-climatic -- finally letting everyone know I was leaving, becoming a 'lame duck', handing off projects, doing my last expense reports, etc.

(Remember, we are the ones who exceed at the marshmallow test.)

omni
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:15 AM   #17
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I have planned early retirement since I was in my 20s. I always wanted to retire before age 60 and later refined it to about 57 or 58. I went into semi-retirement (reduced hours) around 52 or 53 and got forced out (so to speak) at 56. A little early, but at least I was semi prepared since I kind of saw the writing on the wall a few years earlier...

There are times that I wish I had not switched so early to semi-retirement, but I thought a few transition years made sense. If I had not switched I could have retired at 55 or 56 with no qualms...
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:07 AM   #18
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Did other. When govt agency started downsizing in 1997, was eligible. Didn't seriously consider it until they announced that the early retirement program was terminating. Left Feb 2000 with a one and three year old boys.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:24 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
Oh, I could definitely 'taste' it ~7 years out...

When I finally figured out that there was a light at the end of the tunnel....it was ~7 years of anticipation which I could taste...which made it all the more delicious. (Especially because it was my own little secret.)
Hmm. Maybe I need to work on amplifying my anticipation, then. I have been keeping myself focused on the present, with the rationale that it would make the time move faster if I stopped watching the clock (and also help to enjoy the present), but maybe I should shift strategies and savor the anticipation. Tom Petty says the waiting is the hardest part, but maybe the waiting is also one of the best parts. That's part of the fun of retiring, I would think -- knowing it's out there in the future, knowing you're getting closer, planning it, fantasizing about it, relishing the anticipation of it.

Here are some quotes I found:

“Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.” -- A.A. Milne

“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting” - Andy Warhol

“..that sanguine expectation of happiness which is happiness itself” - Jane Austen

“...anticipation of happiness can sometimes be as gratifying as its consummation.” - Gaynor Arnold

"We need the sweet pain of anticipation to tell us we are really alive.” - Albert Camus
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:26 AM   #20
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I had always planned on jumping at age 55. A change in national management and a lot more responsibility/travel and stress got me thinking. I found this site in 2006, crunched numbers and was elated to find that I had enough and got out at age 49 - what a weight lifted! I stayed about 3 months after finding out I was good to go
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